Oyebanji, Abiodun hail Tinubu over S’Court affirmation of victory at poll

* Atiku should let our party breathe – PDP chieftain

By John Odunjo, Nudoiba Ojen

Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji and his Ogun State counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Thursday joined Nigerians to celebrate the victory of President Bola Tinubu over his challengers at the Supreme Court.

Oyebanji described Tinubu’s triumph at the apex court as the ultimate judicial stamp on the landslide victory of the All Progressives Congress flagbearer at the 2023 presidential poll.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, said the Supreme Court decision validating President Tinubu’s win as “victory for democracy, the rule of law and a landmark judgment in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence that has become a reference point for generations to come”.

The governor described the latest judicial victory of President Tinubu as the confirmation of the electoral wishes of the majority of Nigerians who massively voted the APC as the party of their choice.

He said the affirmation of President Tinubu’s victory by both the Presidential Election Petition Court and the Supreme Court had laid to rest all doubts and controversies raised by the opposition about the presidential election.

Oyebanji advised the Peoples Democratic Party flagbearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, his Labour Party counterpart, Mr Peter Obi and the presidential candidates of other political parties to join hands with President Tinubu to move the country forward politically, economically and socially in the interest of Nigerians.

He also advised the candidates and parties whose petitions and appeals were not successful at the courts to accept the hand of fellowship earlier extended to them by President Tinubu since there must be an end to litigation after the electorate had spoken with their votes.

Also, Governor Abiodun, in a statement he personally signed, described the judgment as rooted in law, even as he praised the judiciary for standing by the truth at all times.

The governor said the victory is for all Nigerians, moreso as it came when President Tinubu’s policies aimed at lifting Nigeria out of her current malaise were beginning to take shape.

Abiodun said: “In confirmation of his victory as a true reflection of the wishes of the majority of Nigerians who trooped out to exercise their franchise on February 25 this year, the Supreme Court, today, threw out the appeals filed by the PDP and the LP, putting to rest eight months of contestation over the outcome of the poll.

“I congratulate Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the leadership of our great Party, and indeed all Nigerians on this great victory. This is a great moment for Nigeria, a watershed in our history, a moment of joy and pride for all of us. This is not just a victory for the President, it is a victory for the Nigerian State.

“To be sure, this victory belongs to all Nigerians, including even the opposition parties which contested the outcome of the poll, because it affirms Nigeria’s irrevocable commitment to democracy and civil rule and further consolidates the entrenchment of the democratic ethos across the Nigerian landscape,” the governor said.

This was as a PDP chieftain in Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka, advised Atiku Abubakar, to perish the idea of contesting the 2027 presidential election, saying “As it is now, Atiku needs to let PDP breathe”.

Olayinka, who was the PDP House of Representatives candidate for Ekiti Central Constituency two in the last elections, blamed Atiku for the PDP woes, saying, “Going forward, he should excuse himself and let new people be the face of the party.”

The PDP chieftain spoke in a statement in reaction to the Supreme Court judgment, dismissing Atiku’s petition against the election of President Tinubu.

Olayinka said it was funny that some people were so emotional that they believed that not having 25 per cent votes in the Federal Capital Territory was enough to nullify the election of someone who won in more than 20 States.

He said, “Rather than bringing everyone together to confront the election, they were more interested in dealing with those who told them the truth, suspending and expelling National Assembly candidates of the party and spending millions of Naira on lawyers to defend the suspension”.

While telling those already selling the idea of Atiku contesting again in 2027 as PDP candidate to perish the idea, Olayinka said, “Enough of Atiku is coming every four years. PDP does not belong to any single individual.

“Most importantly, politics should not be about one person’s interest all the time. Someone left the PDP in 2007 when he knew he won’t get the presidential ticket. He came back in 2011 to fight for the ticket in a very toxic manner, he lost.

“Just like 2007, when he saw that he won’t get the PDP ticket in 2015, he instigated crisis in the party and left for the APC. The moment it became clear that he won’t get the APC in 2019, he returned to the PDP. Truth is, if he had lost the PDP ticket in 2019, he would have probably moved to another party.

“Now that he has gotten what he wanted two times and failed, the party should be allowed to pick the pieces of its political life and move on with Atiku taking the back seat,” Olayinka said.

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